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“Tree of Lives” – a Haunting Memoir

“Tree of Lives” – a Haunting Memoir

By Elizabeth Garden

Looking back at the little cottages, Ray the Recruiter considered the families still asleep or just waking up inside each one, their inhabitants unconsciously engaged in the act being happy — at least what he considered to be happiness. It was so simple. How could they not be happy, upon such a stage built for joy? If only they knew what it was like to be him, alone, lost, a blank. With that perspective maybe they’d realize how serene life really is, despite its complexities.

Choking up with self-pity for the time he knew he must have wasted when he had the chance, he turned to walk back. He knew about St. Teresa and this reminded him that both his father and grandmother prayed to her for help with their headaches before they were institutionalized.

Ray the Recruiter, like the Ghost of Christmas Past, remembered it like the plot of an old book he had forgotten about, but upon review was once again immediately familiar. And he had no desire to revisit the story that was somehow building like a cliffhanger.

Tree of Lives is the story of a murderous ghost named Raymond and the family scapegoat, his abused niece Ruth, whose struggles in life are in part because of his tragic deed decades before her birth.


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